Literally Eaten by a Whale

and living to tweet about it

ROCK PAPER RADIO is a dispatch for misfits & unlikely optimists by your favorite hapa haole, beet-pickling, public radio nerd. It’s a weekly email newsletter that shares three curiosities every Thursday - something to hold on to (that’s the ‘rock’), something to read (that’s the ‘paper‘), and something to listen to (you guessed it, that’s the ‘radio’). Themes include but are not limited to: rebel violinists, immortal jellyfish, revolution. Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word.


I often say that things are eating me alive (my pandemic ennui, my enthusiasm for vintage glassware, the multiple projects I bring upon myself), just to let people know that I’m not just dramatic, but I’m also a big feeler of my feelings.

However, for one lucky lobster hunter in P-Town, the experience of being swallowed whole was, in fact, a literal one. Behold this absolutely epic tale from Maria Cramer for The New York Times: Humpback Whale Nearly Eats a Lobsterman, Then Thinks Better of It.

What happened to this fisherman is amazing, but it’s the telling of the story that stunned me. Line by line, we’re right there with him inside the whale’s mouth—swished around, having existential last thoughts, then being unfathomably saved by the grace of one big spit back into the sea. Amazing. Is GOL a thing? Because I was gasping out loud and whispering WHAT!? to myself for the whole story. Enjoy! And then be safe out there this summer, swimmers.


Did you miss the On Asian America special broadcast on Tuesday that I hosted? Fear not, fellow public radio geeks. You can listen to the whole show anytime here. Shout out to our producer, the talented Diana Opong, for the art and nuance that she brought to stitching so many complex stories together for this hour.

Also, KUOW Public Radio will be premiering the film version of the show tonight on YouTube! You know what that means—you can see me and our rockstar panel making some radio while trying not to think about the video recording. It’s a behind-the-scenes dream come true for nerds. Join us! Here’s more info and how to RSVP for free. You can also just tune in live to at 6pm PST / 9pm EST tonight (Thurs, June 17).

I’ll be live in the comments section with our brilliant panelists (including Joe Kye!) looking to do some chatting/trouble making with my misfit fam. Give a shout if you’re there so I can send you a virtual high five.

Join me on YouTube TONIGHT! 6pm PST / 9pm EST. Here’s more info and a link to RSVP. If you RSVP, we’ll send you a reminder. I’ll be live in the comments looking to get into some mischief with my misfit fam.


My teenage roommate, who happens to be one of two loves of my life, recently mentioned that he thinks my houseplant collection is becoming problematic. Just something to keep an eye on, he said, looking pleased with himself while standing under my prayer plant, which hangs next to my mini rubber tree, snake plant, and the monstera I’m propagating.

Lucky for the residents of Alameda, California, no surly teenager has yet crushed the plant parent passion of Solomon Leyva. When Leyva’s massive corpse flower bloomed in May—an aromatic, wondrous event that only comes once every few years—he decided to share his baby with his neighbors and break up the pandemic monotony with some plant power.

From Jessica Leigh Hester for Atlas Obscura: How a Giant, Stinky, Delightful Corpse Flower Got to an Abandoned Gas Station.

If for no other reason, I recommend clicking on the link just to see the delightful photo of Leyva carefully pulling his absolutely gigantic (and obscene) plant in a little wagon as he makes his way to the flower’s new temporary home at the gas station.



That’s a wrap on issue 46, friends. Thanks for reading, listening, holding on.

And thanks too for spreading the ROCK PAPER RADIO word! We now have over 200 misfits and unlikely optimists who subscribe to this misfit dispatch!! WHAT. You all are the best. Please keep sharing our issues on the social medias, and forwarding our newsletter to your curious friends and letting them know that all the inquisitive awkward people are always warmly welcomed.

Hope to see you tonight in the comments section on KUOW’s YouTube!

See you next Thursday.


You can find ROCK PAPER RADIO on Instagram and Twitter @RockPaperRadio.